Servant leadership is based on a simple concept: that as an employee, a worker is present to serve the organization. As one moves up higher into leadership, then there are more people to serve.
That goes against the thinking that there are more people to serve the leader when they reach an executive status.
Here are the pros and cons to consider when implementing an environment which includes servant leadership.
List of the Pros of Servant Leadership
1. Decisions are based on the benefit of all.
Instead of having corporate decisions made in a way that benefits the leadership team, servant leadership includes the entire organization. A decision should be made in the best interest of everyone working for the company.
2. It encourages empathy.
When leaders make decisions in this kind of environment, they do so by looking at the situation in the shoes of others. That allows leaders to refuse requests if it doesn’t benefit everyone for some reason.
3. People grow in a servant leadership environment.
This type of environment encourages people to work together for their mutual benefit. It creates diversity within the workplace that helps everyone through the lens of different perspectives.
4. It serves the customer.
When people serve the organization over their own needs, the customer wins too.
List of the Cons of Servant Leadership
1. Decisions take longer to be made.
Because a decision must benefit all instead of some, a corporation can get bogged down in research or different perspectives. This slows down the implementation process and could be costly from a revenue standpoint.
2. It may require retraining.
Servant leadership is not how many supervisors, managers, and executives learned how to think. An organization wanting to implement this type of environment will often need to spend time and money retraining their personnel in how to think in such a way.
3. The role of the leader is lessened.
As a servant leader, there is a required to do what your staff asks of you if it is for the benefit of the company. The only time it is appropriate to refuse is when it is deemed that a request is self-serving. That can cause many leaders to work harder and longer hours in a support role instead of a leadership role.
These servant leadership pros and cons show us that it is possible to help a company grow and succeed by placing others first. The needs of the many do outweigh the needs of the few, which is a perspective that can take some getting used to from an individual perspective.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.